Mallorca is a beautiful, affordable Spanish island in The Mediterranean. I went in October and here are a few things I recommend.
1. Illetas Beach (map)
This is a beautiful beach within easy reach of Palma. You can drive there quickly, or just hop on the #3 bus for €1.50 each way. When you get off the bus, walk down the hill and then take a left. At the T junction about 50′ later, take a right and walk down the hill. You’ll see a dirt path come up to the road from the left side. Follow this down (either way leads to the same beach) to the sandy beach.
The first beach you see is the nicest. This is also where the bar on the peninsula to your right rents out beach loungers (but they don’t seem to be too strict about this). Set up your blanket in the sun. The shade from the cliff will creep up soon enough, so you don’t have to worry too much about baking all day, unless you’ve arrived at 10am.
There are gently rolling waves at this beach but not much surf. There’s just enough that it gently rolls right over you. There aren’t many fish, but it is very clear, so if you like throwing on the mask, this is a great place to cruise around. You can see right to the bottom, even in deep water. I was lucky that someone on shore was throwing bread into the water when I had my underwater camera, so I got to see a nice collection of the fish.
Although, not in this photo, I also saw some long, skinny fish about a foot long. As far as I can tell, they were probably needle fish. It was very exciting to see an uncommon looking fish, and it made me want to do some kind of scuba training.
If you’re more into the beach for the sun and sand, fear not. Illetas will not let you down. The beach has beautiful, fine sand with minimal seaweed, and the sun lights up the beach nearly all day. Just before sunset, it slips along the rocks and casts the east beach into shade. You can try to eek out the last bit of sun by sitting on the rocks.
But really it’s best to pack up at this point and head over to the other side of the peninsula to catch the sun dip below the sea while sitting on the sandy beach. Hopefully you’ve remembered the Rose (or rosado as they say in Spain).
Can’t emphasize provisioning enough! There aren’t many spots to buy refreshments at the beach, so definitely pick up whatever you want before the bus ride. We stopped in BritVid quite frequently. This is a convenience-type shop that caters to English visitors looking for familiar biscuits, but they are also one of the only places we could find in Palma that had chilled rosado in a fridge ready to go. They also have a sister shop across the street that can help you with internet and SIM cards (very handy!). This shop also has an extensive “job wanted” board that the visiting yachties use to post their business cards, so this is also a must-visit for anyone looking for a crew or captain!
2. La Sifoneria – Carrer Santa Clara 4
If you like wine but don’t like paying loads for it, you must visit the Sifoneria. They have wine by the liter from €1.50. They will give you a little glass of it while you wait for the sommelier to fill up your bottles. There’s also an art gallery in the back if you fancy looking at more than your friends while you wait.
There are also crates with old school sparkling water bottles in them with woven mats atop. These are seats if you’d prefer to just sit around while you wait for your bottles.
Visit the Sifoneria’s website here.
3. Get out of Palma
It’s worth it to rent a car and head into the hills. You can find some great beaches and also just enjoy the twists and turns of Mallorca’s mountainous roads. Deia is worth a stop to have lunch in a charming restaurant. Parc Mondrago has beautiful scenery and swimming.
4. Lotomoka – Corderia 11
There’s loads of shopping in Palma. You can find all the typical stuff like H&M, but there are also so many amazing craftsmen and artists in Palma. Some of them hang out on the streets with their wares, while many of them have their own stores. Moira is one that has her very own brick and mortar shop where she sells her own beautiful pillows and handmade items from many more Mallorcan makers. Definitely worth a visit to her place to pick up souvenirs that were actually made by people living and working in Palma! Read more about her store on her site here.